Global Economics Shake us Down

On our previous trip to Peru in January, we contacted a shipping company to move some of our favorite objects, mostly traditional Peruvian crafts, to the US. We asked for a quote on shipping to Chicago, and were startled to find the cost would be over $4,000. We set that plan aside, and returned to the US in February with full suitcases. By June, we’d decided to move to Eureka, CA, and reconsidered shipping. We’d be near a coast, perhaps lowering the cost a bit (less trucking from a port). Perhaps we could move our treasures, after all.

Two replica Chancay figurines on the fireplace mantel.

Now that we have been in Peru for a month and we have found a good real estate agent, we are beginning to plan our return to California, so we contacted the shipping company again and asked for a quote. We sent the same file of photos, and an updated inventory, with our new address in Eureka as the destination. The woman Jonathan spoke to put him off, explaining how busy they are, but promised to get us an estimate by the end of this week.

Replica Chancay figurine, purchased at Larcomar around 2004.

You may recall that the war in Ukraine began Feb. 20, 2022, and that could have changed shipping costs. It did, and when our estimate arrived on Friday afternoon, it was four times the cost quoted in early February. It’s only money, yes, but there’s a limit. We now plan to return to the US with as much as we can pack in our suitcases once again. We’re still looking for a way to take a couple of oversized items. On the other hand, we have wonderful memories of Barranca, and the objects are not central to our well-being.

There is a pair of figures, man and woman, typical of the Chancay region, and a large pot of a man wearing a headdress and earspools, with a monkey on his shoulder, holding a cup. A joker put the little gourd of lime for chewing coca in the cup years ago.

Painting of Barranca beach community by Del Nino Ladron (Jose Humberto Guevara Hurtado) that we commissioned around 2005

We met the painter Jose Humberto Guevara Hurtado in Parque Kennedy, Miraflores, Lima, years ago, when painters set up their easels and work for sale around the sides of the park on Sunday afternoons. We were intrigued by his satirical paintings and over the course of several visits, asked whether he would consider doing a painting for us. He agreed, and spent two or three weekends in Barranca sketching and taking photos. The resulting painting is very large–he said it got away from him. There are a few satirical touches you can find, including the sign “Toledo–Give Me Back My Vote!” that refers to a former president of Peru. These are some of the things that may be just too big to move with us.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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